Eleven years ago, the Pasco County community of Connerton opened with a variety of home sizes and prices, vibrant community activities and a large network of trails in an 5,000-acre property, one of the largest new-home developments in the Tampa Bay area.
In the first two years, 280 families built homes in Connerton. But sales slowed to a trickle in 2006 as the housing bubble burst, and stopped for a period of time as the property changed ownership, with Texas-based developer Hayman Woods buying the property in 2010.
But now, the vision of Connerton is back on track.
Lennar Homes, Connerton’s newest builder, opened its Model Home Center there a month ago and is seeing strong interest right away. The day before its grand opening, Lennar held a residents-only preview event, and close to 300 Connerton families attended. Meanwhile, Lennar has already sold a number of home sites, with the first one selling the day of the grand opening.
Overall, Connerton is selling at a pace of about 100 homes a year and now has more than 480 households. The activity reflects the surge in new home sales countywide.
“We are seeing buyer interest from all ages, but particularly from young families and young professionals,” said Jeff Morin, Vice President of Sales for Lennar. “In addition to the amenities Connerton offers onsite, there are quality schools in the area, along with more and more quality stores and restaurants within easy reach.”
One example of the new Connerton buyers is the Marks family. Melody and Kyle Marks, a young couple who bought the first Lennar home in Connerton, chose the community for a variety of reasons, with one major reason being that Kyle’s parents already live there.
“We have wanted to build a larger home for a while now, and we have been waiting all summer for Lennar to start building in Connerton,” said Melody, a mother of two (a 7-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl) who works from home in the insurance industry, as does her husband. “After doing research and seeing dozens of model homes, we knew we wanted to build with Lennar. And living in Connerton is a no-brainer, since part of our family already lives there, and there are good schools nearby.”
The Marks family is building one of the larger Lennar models at Connerton, the Winthrop, a 2,486-square-foot, two-story home with five bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Lennar’s homes in Connerton range from 1,500 to 2,767 square feet, with prices from $196,990 to $280,000.
Lennar’s “Everything’s Included” program is extremely popular with first-time buyers and young families, because it takes much of the stress out of buying a new home. Thousands of dollars worth of extras are included in the home’s price, including a tankless water heater and a washer and dryer. Also, financing is simpler through Lennar’s full-service mortgage company, Universal American Mortgage Co.
With the opening of the Tampa Premium Outlets in nearby Wesley Chapel and other amenities nearby, Connerton is likely to become even more popular. The area is also home to the Shops at Wiregrass, a new Florida Hospital facility, and a new Pasco-Hernando State College campus.
Within the community, Connerton offers residents a variety of activities and services, such as a major annual Fourth of July Celebration, onsite childcare, and a large pool with water park-style touches at the Club Connerton community center.
When built out, Connerton will have approximately 8,600 homes, 1.7 million square feet of retail space and 1.4 million square feet of office space on its property, off U.S. 41 in central Pasco.
“I am excited to see Connerton moving forward again toward its full potential,” said Stewart Gibbons, president of the Gibbons Group, which is a lead consultant to Hayman Woods on Connerton-related development work. “Over the next decade, we foresee Connerton continuing to evolve into a major self-sustaining New Town community, surrounded by nature and an overwhelming sense of community pride.”
Lennar’s presence at Connerton is part of a footprint that makes it one of the largest Tampa Bay homebuilders, with new homes underway in 44 area communities. In Pasco alone, Lennar is also building in Concord Station, Lakeside, Trinity Preserve, Trinity Lakes, Briar Oaks and Meadow Pointe.
As one of the nation’s leading homebuilders since 1954, Lennar has extensive experience in maximizing the quality of everything it builds. Lennar’s commitment to Quality, Value and Integrity forms the underlying foundation upon which the company was built. Lennar, which operates in 17 states and over 40 markets across the nation, believes in simplifying the home buying experience by including thousands of dollars of extras in the home price, offering a great value and the latest in luxury, technology and efficiency. The entire home buying process is simplified at Lennar, with a family of companies to help with mortgage, title and insurance needs. Lennar Tampa currently builds in 44 communities in the Tampa Bay area.